Ramanchuk set to continue political activities


Former presidential candidate Yaraslaw Ramanchuk said in an interview with BelaPAN on Thursday that he had no intention to quit politics.

What is important at present is to "distribute information and create a positive alternative," he said. "This is what I did during the presidential campaign as well."

In early February, the National Committee of the United Civic Party (UCP) expressed no confidence in Mr. Ramanchuk, the party`s deputy chairman, over a statement in which he accused fellow candidates of provoking mass riots.

When asked as to whether he maintained correspondence with UCP Chairman Anatol Lyabedza held in the KGB detention center over the December 19 post-election protest in Minsk, Mr. Ramanchuk said that he had not sent letters to him. "UCP activists and his wife write to him, while I am in touch with them. I view him as the true leader of our party and a friend. And I am doing everything possible to secure his release."

Commenting on the country’s political scene following the presidential election, Mr. Ramanchuk said: "Some people believe that a boycott is the tactics that will bring changes to Belarus, while others have not yet made up their mind. As for me, I believe we should work with people, propose constructive programs and put forward solutions to problems. If you keep talking about Lukashenka, not problems, people won’t understand you."

As for the current economic situation, Mr. Ramanchuk said that the devaluation of the Belarusian rubel was inevitable. "Irrespective of whether the Belarusian authorities will borrow funds from the International Monetary Fund or Russia, they will be anyway handed a demand that the currency exchange policy be brought in accord with the real situation."

Mr. Ramanchuk said that the public, however, should not panic. "If all rush to banks to withdraw their money, the situation will evidently get only worse," he said. "On the other hand, people should not think that the Belarusian banking system is reliable."